From Your Rector

Michaelmas, or the Feast of Michael and All Angels, is celebrated on 29th September.  As it falls near the equinox, the day is associated with the beginning of autumn and the shortening of days; in England, it is one of the “quarter days”.

There are traditionally four “quarter days” in a year: Lady Day (25th March), Midsummer (24th June), Michaelmas (29th September) and Christmas (25th December)). They are spaced three months apart, on religious festivals, usually close to the solstices or equinoxes. They were the four dates on which servants were hired, rents due or leases begun. It used to be said that harvest had to be completed by Michaelmas, almost like the marking of the end of the productive season and the beginning of the new cycle of farming. It was the time at which new servants were hired or land was exchanged and debts were paid. This is how it came to be that, broadly speaking, Michaelmas is the time for the beginning of legal and university terms.

Scripture often speaks of created intelligences other than humans who worship God in heaven and act as His messengers and agents on earth. We are not told much about them, and it is not clear how much of what we are told is figurative.

Michael (the name means "Who is like God?") is said to be the captain of the heavenly armies. He is mentioned in Scripture in Daniel 10:13; 12:1 (where he is said to be the prince of the people of Israel); in Jude verse 9; and in Revelation 12:7 (where he is said to have led the heavenly armies against those of the great dragon). He is generally pictured in full armour, carrying a lance, and with his foot on the neck of a dragon. (Pictures of St. George are often similar, but only Michael has wings.)

On the Feast of Michael and all Angels, popularly called Michaelmas, we give thanks for the many ways in which God's loving care watches over us, both directly and indirectly, and we are reminded that the richness and variety of God's creation far exceeds our knowledge of it.

Yours ever 
Matthew

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Bishops Lydeard
Bishops Lydeard
Bishops Lydeard